Oh, that explains the palpitations

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

In addition to the Xanax I'm now taking for chronic insomnia (I scaled back from the prescribed .5 mg because that made me sleep for 11 hours and left me feeling stoned for the rest of the day -- not cool), I've made another change in my lifestyle. Granted, this change is less than 24 hours old, but somehow I suspect it'll help with things such as my tendency to retain water like a camel, my bouts of heart hiccups, and a doc-in-the-box's observation a couple of months ago that my blood pressure was slightly above normal.

Last night, I got home from work, having only had a South Beach meal bar, a chicken Caesar wrap and a bag of baked Lay's chips all day, and made a rather large dinner because I was starving. The dinner consisted of two salami sandwiches, four dill pickles, and two servings of cheddar cheese soy chips.

I then headed off to Home Depot to get a new shop vac filter and some light fixtures for the bathroom, and realized that I felt dreadful -- my chest ached, I felt lightheaded, yadda yadda. I grabbed a bottle of water to sip while I shopped, got the stuff and headed home, where I promptly popped an aspirin, potassium and magnesium supplements and felt better. The supplements got me to thinking (I take them because I usually run low on potassium, and magnesium is recommended by a lot of nutritionists), so I looked up the sodium content of my dinner.

Holy Christ on a pogo stick. In one meal I'd consumed about 140% of the daily recommended intake of sodium. In one meal. I'm surprised my heart didn't just explode. And I don't want to think about how much salt I've been cheerfully shoving down all these years.

I did some more research, and it seems that 2400 mg of sodium is a reasonable amount to consume on a daily basis (from that number, you can figure out how much I'd eaten with dinner last night). As an experiment, I'm going to try and stay within that number for a week and see how I feel. So far today I've had about 1200 mg with breakfast (oatmeal and milk) and lunch (roasted chicken breasts, a touch of gyros meat, a small scoop of roasted potatoes, salad, tabouleh and tsatsiki), so I can have a meal bar (350 mg) this afternoon if I get hungry, and round out the evening with 850 mg for dinner.

And yes, I'm drinking 64 ounces of water a day. This should be interesting.


Walt said...

And you are.....?

Melanie said...

Hey, I've been BUSY.